NHL Schedule 2013: Latest Buzz About Opening Night Matchups

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NHL Schedule 2013: Latest Buzz About Opening Night Matchups
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a report from TSN's Aaron Ward, we know that the NHL teams received their 2013 schedules on Friday afternoon:

 

The league still hasn't released the schedule to the public, though, so all we know are little bits and pieces about what games will open up the season on Jan. 19.

Let the speculation continue.

The NHL and the NHLPA were done with the vote that was supposed to have an 8 a.m. ET deadline on Friday. But that has come and passed without any kind of news on this issue, and we still can't put a nail in the coffin on this NHL lockout until the final schedule is released.

So, here's the latest buzz around the league about where your favorite team will be playing on the first Saturday of the NHL season.

 

Schedule Rumors

According to a report by SportingNews.com, there's a list circulating that includes 11 games that we will be graced with on Jan. 19. Here's a look at those games, per the report:

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers
Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings at St. Louis Blues
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild
Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets
Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators
Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders

The Penguins-Flyers playoff rematch from 2012 is a rumor that's been circulating for quite some time now, as the two teams seem like a perfect fit to pull intrigue back to normal after the long layoff. The in-state rivals went at it last year, and the Flyers emerged from that battle.

CBC Sports' Elliotte Friedman confirmed several of those games on Twitter:

 

Dan Murphy helped spread the news about one matchup on Twitter:

 

Some of the matchups appear set in stone, as NBC will be taking on its usual responsibility of kicking off the NHL season with a quality TV broadcast.

Per the network's official listing site, it looks like 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 19 will be the first look at the 2013 NHL season—but the broadcast is going to be a regional thing.

NBC is splitting coverage between the Los Angeles Kings raising the banner against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Flyers-Pens rematch. Mark those down on your calender now, and pray that the split doesn't affect your ability to watch your team on opening Saturday.

As for the rest of the schedule, we'll have to wait for league confirmation to know for sure. Saturday was the rumored day of the schedule release, so we'll continue to monitor that front and hope commissioner Gary Bettman can get this thing out sooner rather than later.

The league owes its fans that much.

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.

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